The most comprehensive work in its class; includes articles on all religions, ethical systems and movements, religious beliefs and customs,
philosophical ideas, moral practices, as well as related subjects in anthropology,
mythology, folklore, relevant areas of biology, psychology, economics and
sociology; includes tens of thousands of names of persons and places connected
with these subjects.
Encyclopedia's editor James Hastings was assisted in this
monumental undertaking by John A. Selbie and hundreds of other eminent scholars.
" ...grand in vision and impressive in accomplishment, (it) represents a
scholarly achievement of the first importance. Intended to provide an account of
the various aspects of religion (beliefs, rituals, philosophies, theologies,
ethics) among peoples the world over and in all ages, the encyclopedia became a
reference work with no compeer for more than half a century.
Exemplary of the late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century interest in
producing encyclopedic collections of knowledge in various fields, the
encyclopedia became both a resource for reviewing the results of scholarship
concerning the study of religion and an impetus for the extension of knowledge
of peoples and cultures the world over, thus transcending the prior
provincialism of much of Western scholarship, " wrote F. Stanley Lusby
in 1986 16-volume Encyclopedia of Religion, the editors of whichled
by Mircea Eliadeviewed themselves as the authors of the work aiming to
supersede Hastings's Encyclopedia.
Present in almost every library, Encyclopedia is a recommended and
much in use standard reference title in the field of religion. Its paper
reprints sell often for more than $2000. Now in a new, electronic, searchable
format, this treasure of human knowledge has been made affordable for purchase
by individuals for the first time.